For those who have missed the news just about everywhere else, the Lightning announced today that they will buy out Vincent Lecavalier, the 33 year old center who has seven years left on his $85M contract. Apparently, season ticket holders were notified today via email.
The buyout is one of those "just business" decisions. Lecavalier is certainly overpaid compared to his production in Tampa Bay lately, but he puts up good numbers. Lecavalier has put up 205 points over the last 250 games, more than 60% of which came at even strength (81 goals). However, he's already put the Lightning on the hook for more than $9M worth of cap hit recapture dollars and stands to increase that figure to $16.6M over the next four seasons. He'd have to put up a lot more production to be worth that kind of risk.
So should the Wings go for him? Absolutely. Detroit has the cap space to grab up a guy like this and the role he would provide would be pretty much exactly what we were hoping Valtteri Filppula would be able to provide by this point in his career. He's a solid 2nd line center choice who would give the Wings the flexibility to keep Datsyuk & Zetterberg together and who can score goals.
The only question becomes what it's going to cost. Lecavalier is going to get paid. There are too many teams looking for a top-six center and once he's bought out, Lecavalier will be the best one available. Detroit can make the space to make that happen, but it's certainly going to prevent them from bringing back Filppula (foregone) and it could prevent Damien Brunner from returning to the Wings as well.
Personally, I don't think Detroit lands Vinny. I think he gets more than they're willing to spend from an inferior team or just as much as Detroit would like to spend to go to a team he'd simply prefer more (Montreal, maybe even Chicago). Could just be that I'm being pessimistic. I'd like to see the Wings land him though.
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The Wings' annual development camp is set for July 10-15 at Traverse City. Paul Kukla has the whole press release put out there. I'm just going to touch on the highlights.
Darren Helm will be there working with the prospects, which is great news in that I'm hoping his recovery from back problems which kept him out all season is going nicely. You can get tickets for $5 per day (Day 1 is free). Notable players include Ryan Sproul, Xavier Oullet, Martin Frk, Mitch Callahan, and Nick Jensen. The roster will also change after the draft to include whomever the Wings take.
Josh Howard pointed me to a camp invitee by the name of Ildar Telyakov. He's a 22 year old Russian kid repped by Igor Larionov. The right-shooting D-man is notable because the guy's a freaking giant. he's either 6'9 or 6'10", depending on which person you ask. It's really hard to find info about him, but based on the three youtube videos I've been able to find, he looks a bit rough around the edges but he has the intangible benefit of being able to bite the backs of his opponents' necks while they're facing him.
I don't know that we can expect anything to come from this, but if the kid's good (or at least serviceable), I'm glad we've got the inside track on him for right now.
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A few days ago, Yahoo!'s Greg Wyshynski asked the question about whether the Chicago Blackhawks are an NHL dynasty and followed it up with some crap about how hard it is to win multiple cups like the last-recognized dynasty Edmonton Oilers did in the early-mid 80s. Of course, his argument kind of forgot that there have been four teams who have been to the SCF two times since the 2007-08 season, so if the Hawks succeeding in both Final appearances separated by three years makes the difference, then we can expect to see a lot of "NHL Dynasties" in the coming years.
If the four cups that the Wings won between 1997 and 2008 doesn't fit them into any categorization of a Dynasty, then I don't see how a team that's missed the playoffs in 5 of the last 10 years is one so soon.
This got me thinking about the term "NHL Dynasty" and exactly how watered-down and useless it has to be if you want to say that the Hawks now fit the definition. Since "NHL Dynasty" is easier to say and spell than "Ersatz Dynasty", I played with the concept on Twitter a bit and here's what I came up with.
I actually kinda like giving the term "NHL Dynasty" a stupid definition that doesn't encompass everything. It's like HRR that way.— Winging It In Motown (@wingingitmotown) June 25, 2013
Whomever wins this year's Tour de France = NHL Dynasty— Winging It In Motown (@wingingitmotown) June 25, 2013
One-term president? NHL Dynasty— Winging It In Motown (@wingingitmotown) June 25, 2013
Gary Bettman. NHL Dynasty of lockouts.— Winging It In Motown (@wingingitmotown) June 26, 2013
What else do you think qualifies as an NHL Dynasty? It can be just about anything that's good for a ridiculously short amount of time which people want to credit with all-time greatness because they're either relentlessly clickbaiting or they're missing the part of the brain which regulates their own self-importance with regards to perspective.
Sound off in the comments.